Richard Holden MP’s Ten Minute Rule Bill made the case in the House Chamber that the hugely significant Conservative Party policy of auto-enrolment for all 22 years and over should be lowered to 18.
At the moment, 75% of those aged over 22 are automatically enrolled into pension schemes – for every 50p earned £1 is saved. Under the age of 22, this stands at only 20%. That is a huge difference.
For part-time workers, auto-enrolment stands at 57.8% compared with almost 90% of workers in full-time jobs. If we assume a move from 22 to 18 will bring about a similar take-up, this Bill could see an extra 30% of the part-time workforce auto-enrolled.
Millions of people, mostly women, those from ethnic minority communities, and those who are socially disadvantaged, would benefit from this Bill. People from the towns and villages in my North West Durham.
Commenting, Richard said:
“The total Gross Domestic Product of our economy is about £2.7 Trillion. This gives us the title of the fifth largest economy in the world.
“Could you imagine, then, a single policy worth an additional £2.8 Trillion in savings over the working lifetime of the current labour force. A policy included in our Conservative Party manifesto. A manifesto that all members on this side ran on: the expansion of auto-enrolment.
“This auto-enrolment Bill is all about helping to entrench ambition. The ambition of people to look after themselves, their families, and their communities – for the very towns and villages they live in. From North West Durham’s Consett to Crook, and Lanehead to Langley Park; this is the case.”
The Government’s programme of the expansion of auto-enrolment has been fantastic. It is not hyperbolic to say that this one of the Conservative Party’s great economic triumphs.
But now, with all that evidence of what a huge positive impact it can have, it is a no-brainer that we now extend this to 18 years old. It is a no-brainer we extend all this success to 18-, 19-, 20- and 21-year-olds. We need to go that step further to help people who are genuinely the backbone of our country.